Who says ska is dead...

The 19+ crowd, that's who.

At least lately, in my experience, it seems that way. Why is it that I feel like I'm the one spending a night away from the nursing home when I go to a ska show, and last time I checked I'm only barely legal to drink in the states, and I don't have any grey hair showing yet.

Ska music was born in never never land, it always stays within the 12 to 19 age range, never reaching adulthood, never growing up.

Don't get me wrong, that's the beauty of it. Those of us who still are kids at heart will never grow out of it, but at the same time I find myself picking up that Mad Caddies cd less and less these days, and who's even heard Catch 22 since we left behind our lockers in high school?

I was beginning to think it was inevitable that those cd's would eventually end their days collecting dust on my shelf, but at last I found hope in one local Ajax/Toronto ska band. They made me realize that you're never too old to go back to never never land.

The Johnstones are known for their wacky stage shows, the insane costumes, and their hilarious rhymes, but what stands out about their new release, titled SEX, is the fact that throughout the years they have always stayed true to their sound, but at the same time have matured with the audience members who have been there from the start, while still appealing to the younger newcomers.
While the songs are filled with wicked horn lines that remind you that the boys are still very much a ska band, the music has developed intensely over the last couple of years into something just short of amazing. Scratch that. It surpasses amazing.
The first time I heard it I was sold. I haven't taken it out of my cd player since, I listen to it for hours straight every day, over and over, and it just isn't enough. I want more!
It feeds every hunger inside of me... The joking undertones they have seeping through each track, especially the infamous raps, make me laugh every time. There is enough of a pop influence that it's catchy and you can sing along, but at the same time they completely rock out with guitar solo's and siq (with a 'q') bass lines. And the horns! Oh the horns, what would ska be without them?
With a good amount of mainstream appeal, it's relieving to realize that these boys have different kind of girl problems than we're so used to (and very tired of) hearing about lately! No sob stories here, it almost feels as if this could have been Hot Hot Heat's B-sides if they started off as a ska band.
Bottom line, this band fucking rocks.
Buy the album. SEX.
It'll even inspire you to revisit that old Mighty Mighty Bosstones cd that's hidden underneath a thick coat of dust over there... no, right there.... see that dust? That's it... see it? Good.



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I'm Sarah. I do what I want.